Barrett, “The English Pupil”
- All the pupils Linaeus mentions in this
short story are real pupils of the scientist, Carl Linaeus, and each of them
became important in C18 science for helping to describe scientifically a
region’s animals and/or plants, or a specific segment of the animal or plant
- Naming the plants and
animals—Genesis—Adam’s job, but each language and each region in a language
develops different names for them. How can we talk coherently between
national languages about them and be sure we’re talking about the same
plants and animals?
- Linaeus remembers
his pupils in “First-nameàlast-name”
order (all the “Pehrs”/Peters together, then what was the last name, type of
research, order of death (35-6). Also see 41 on “Nomenclature is a mnemonic
- Power of Linaeus’ style of scientific
thinking to organize the world’s thinkers no matter what their languages
(37)—fame of scientists in L’s era—marching bands!
- Nature as a “book” to be read using the
decoding strategies of science (39)—earlier methods: revealed religion;
aesthetics (painting, sculpture, poetry, etc.); alchemy and astrology, etc.
- Teachers and students as composite
beings (42 and 44-45): we belong to each other because students promise
teachers a way for their minds to continue exploring into their later years
and teachers promise students a way for their hopes to be realized with a
proven method of practice and a reliable set of facts upon which to proceed.
- Learning as a group conversation: “the
conversation of humankind” (English 221 and peer tutoring, etc.; AB 44-45).
Exchanging the flowers and leaves = symbolic exchange of ideas in articles
over time. Scholarship is an extra-temporal dialogue about reality and
- L’s last words: the paradox—Arnie’s
maxim: No fun without danger; Linaeus’ implied maxim: No learning without
danger. What are the “fevers” and “plagues” of the study of modern